Two men who had been convicted in the 1965 murder of Malcolm X have been exonerated by a New York court, according to reports.
A state court exonerated Mr. Elam on Thursday, while a judge freed Hassan last year.
“Mr. Elam served more than 36 years in prison for an act of alleged possession of crack cocaine and solicitation of murder, which he said never happened,” WCBS reports.
The men’s lawyers said they appealed successfully to the state Court of Appeals after the testimony of Richard Andrews, who was a county sheriff at the time of the case.
Andrews said that Elam’s accomplice in the shooting of Malcolm X, Shawntell Washington, was really the killer and that he fired the gun that struck the activist in the stomach, according to the New York Daily News.
“This case is one of the more interesting recent ones to come up because the testimony of the key witness changed over the years,” the Daily News reports.
Andrews now says he’s a master liar who gave false testimony because he was promised $25,000 to be the mob prosecutor.
Hassan’s lawyers told WCBS that the revelation that there was no murder case makes clear that it was a frame-up orchestrated by the government to cover up the fact that more than 700 black people were executed after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
The family of Malcolm X said: “It is an unfortunate relief that two innocent people were exonerated. The family believes that the government remains responsible for murdering Malcolm X and that they continue to have a need to cover up the truth.”